- The Nigeria Federal Government, Italy and Interpol have signed an accord to stem transnational organised crime including human trafficking in the country's capital Abuja today.
The newly initiated two year pilot project under Interpol, seeks to strengthen cooperation between Italy and Nigeria in the fight against illegal migration of Nigerians to Italy and curb an upsurge on organised crime.
According to Interpol statement, the agreement will see Nigeria and Italy establish mixed police teams in Italy to jointly combat human trafficking and illegal immigration frequently controlled by organised crime.
"This innovative pilot project will see Nigerian police officers deployed for a twelve-month period to Italian border-police check points, international airports and harbours, and in selected cities, working alongside their Italian police counterparts," the statement said.
Nigeria's Inspector General of Police, Sir Mike Mbama Okiro, said that the international collaborative partnerships were vital to combat organised crime between two countries.
"Combating international crimes that exploit innocent Nigerians abroad and violate other countries' immigration laws need close bi-lateral and regional cooperation as well as global co-ordination," Inspector General said, adding the new operation will protect innocent Nigerians abroad.
Italy's Director General of Public Security and National Police, Antonio Manganelli, said that Italy's National Police was eager and ready to work with their Nigerian counterparts fight organised crime.
Mr Manganelli also said joint operations in Italy would help to dismantle organised crime units in Italy, which are reportedly spreading to the other parts of Europe.
"Human trafficking and people smuggling are highly profitable activities of organised crime targeting the most vulnerable in our society;" said Interpol Secretary General Ronald K Noble.
He said the best way to fight organised crime was to get police from source and destination countries to work closely together.
"The Heads of Police for Nigeria and Italy should be commended for their commitment to both bi-lateral and global police cooperation in fighting serious transnational crime," he said.
Interpol is expected to provide support and resources to the project, both at its General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France, and via its global network of 187 member countries.
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